York Region to open COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site in Canada by April

York Region to open COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site in Canada by April

TORONTO – York Region Public Health will transform the parking lot at Canada Wonderland into a mass drive-thru vaccination clinic on March 29.
The drive-thru vaccination clinic will be by appointment only and for area residents aged 70 and over who are currently eligible under the province’s priorities.

“The real benefit is that many people and people confined to the home feel more comfortable in their vehicles and can access immunizations much more easily,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region Medical Officer of Health. .

The plan will use existing entry counters at closed amusement parks with eight lanes of traffic to direct people to vaccination posts. After being vaccinated, residents should go to a designated area where they will wait 15 minutes.

“We will be able to see some 1,600 people a day,” Kurji said. “Ideally, we would like to see four people in a vehicle to maximize efficiency.”

Health officials gave the site a test drive last Thursday with around 460 people.

“The biggest advantage was that many people, who otherwise did not have access to a mass vaccination clinic, felt very comfortable being in their own vehicle and being brought in.

Dr Kurji also said discussions are underway with MacKenzie Health, which operates two hospitals in the region, about working together to turn the site into a “super clinic.”

York Region is also working on plans to operate two more mass drive-thru vaccination clinics at sports facilities in Whitchurch-Stoufville and King City.

Health officials will announce later this week when eligible residents can begin booking appointments for drive-thru vaccination clinics.

York University develops simulation tool to help plan drive-thru clinics

As vaccination campaigns for the general population intensify, York University has developed a simulation tool to help public health agencies in Canada and the United States better plan mass vaccination clinics.

The driving simulation was developed by Ali Asgary, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

“These simulations help develop these operations in such a way that they are efficient in terms of the number of employees… how many people can be vaccinated and the average time people spend in clinics,” Asgary told CTV News Toronto.

The simulation can be customized for a specific site.

“Immunization is one of the biggest public health challenges of this decade,” Asgary said.

“The benefits of a drive-through clinic are many, including a low risk of disease transmission for staff and the public, a large number of people can be vaccinated and it is useful for a geographically dispersed population. ”

Asgary worked with officials in Renfrew County to plan three drive-thru clinics for frontline healthcare workers this month.

The simulation allowed officials to predict how many people they could immunize in an hour.

“We started with 50 vehicles per hour at the first clinic and we are now down to 84 per hour,” said Jeff Dodge, of the Renfrew County Paramedic Service.

During the clinic, it took staff 45 seconds to register each vehicle, plus a minute to vaccinate, which was then followed by a 15-minute observation period. Authorities say they vaccinated 265 people in two hours.

“The data conclusively shows that you can get more people into a drive-through clinic than you can into a walk-in and that’s becoming important as the numbers go up,” Dodge said.


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